Starting the First Edit

Seems to be that I’m not too good at keeping this blog updated. In fairness to myself at least, I have managed to finally complete the first draft of my trilogy in my time away from the blogging-sphere. But of course that means I am in the terrible part of the writing process: the first edit.

I think that’s what this entry is going to be about today.

So I’ve started to edit the first draft of the first novel in my first trilogy. Lots of firsts, right? I have to admit, I think doing this edit has been so much more difficult than actually writing the darn thing (and I’ve only gotten 12 000 words into it). Coming up with the initial plot and characters seems easy in comparison to deciding what stays and what goes.

I’ve gotten so used to the way everything works in the story; it’s a shame that I have to go through and chop, change, and add elements into it. But alas, I know I must. Just from reading through the first few pages, I notice that my writing style flies all over the place – my writing has evolved so much over the past year or two that I can see a change in it so drastic that I NEED to do re-writes.

I’d say part of the reason why my writing has evolved so much lately is due to a professor I had this past winter semester in school. He taught my creative writing class, every Tuesday night from 6:30-9:20. One thing that I definitely took away from that class is a simple message he gave us.

People don’t like melodrama. Keep your writing simple, clear, and real.

At first when I heard this, I thought my prof was crazy. Here I was, writing a story FULL of melodrama (a physically abused girl who gets thrown into an awkward love triangle between an ex-boyfriend and a psychotic boyfriend). So what did that mean for my story? Should I just toss it out and give up writing it because it will never sell?

Instead of doing this (thankfully), I continued working on it, amalgamating the first three chapters into one and revising the scenes so there was less “drama”. Originally I was only going to do this for the final manuscript project due at the end of the semester, but when I opened the story to begin work on the second draft, the words of my professor were still in my head. I continued to edit my work using his suggestions and found that I liked the way my new draft was sounding.

So I realize that I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent from my original intent of this entry, but my little anecdote is relevant to the topic of the first edit. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when you work on the first edit of your story, or manuscript, or novel, or whatever you want to call it, try to let go of the way you did things originally. Sometimes a new approach to your story is all it takes to move to that next step towards getting your novel published.

Well, that’s all from me for now. I’ll post again when I can think of something else profound to say. No awesome writing quote from me today – I’m all awsome-ed out.

Until next time.